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Hit and runs on the rise in Salt Lake; police say they are hard to solve

Posted at 9:26 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 23:26:39-05

SALT LAKE CITY - Police say they are overwhelmed with the number hit and runs recently. In just the past two months they've seen more than 200 cases, and only a dozen of those have been solved.

Some involved pedestrians, leaving those victims without answers.

“Doctors have called it a miracle,” said Lindsay Young. “Everybody kind of said I got really lucky in an unlucky situation.”

Tuesday marks one month since a car hit Lindsay in crosswalk on Main Street and 300 south. Lindsay was out with friends when the night became a blur after an SUV ran a red light, hitting her in the crosswalk. The driver sped away.

“I haven't been able to go to work haven't been able to drive anywhere I broke five bones so my mobility is limited,” Lindsay said.

Weeks later she still doesn’t know who hit her. Lindsay’s case marks one of several auto-ped hit and runs in Salt Lake City in the past two months.

“It could have been way worse. I could have been dead. I really could have been dead. I'm glad I'm still here. It's pretty emotional. But I am. I'm happy I'm still here,” said Michael Chatwin in an interview last month with FOX13. He was hit by car while on his long board, and even though surveillance shows the driver speeding away, police still haven’t caught the culprit.

“They're actually one of the hardest cases for our detectives to be able to solve,” said Sgt. Brandon Shearer with SLCPD.

Salt Lake Police are investigating more hit and runs, but admit it's difficult to make an arrest.

“Many times we are able to find the vehicle, and even probe that was the vehicle involved, but the problem is we can't arrest, we have to know who was driving that vehicle,” Sgt. Shearer said.

The lack of evidence leaves victims like Lindsay without closure.

“I would love just to have a little bit of peace knowing the person out there can't do this to somebody else. I don’t want anyone else to go through this,” Lindsay said.

Police say the key to making an arrest is information, the most important being a good description of the car, description of the driver and a plate number.